Oculus VR aspires to create an MMO world with 1 billion people in it
"This is going to be the largest MMO ever made," says Oculus VR's CEO.
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We already know Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, has huge aspirations--and after being acquired for $2 billion, who can blame it?--among them, the goal of creating an MMO world that brings together 1 billion people.
This is according to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, who talked about the platform the company wants to create with the Oculus Rift at this week's TechCrunch Disrupt. "This is going to be the largest MMO ever made," he said. "This is going to be an MMO where we want to put a billion people in VR."
1 billion people is a massive figure, roughly 14 percent of the world's estimated population of 7 billion people. As pointed out by The Guardian, this would require selling more Rifts than the total number of gaming consoles sold worldwide since 1982. Facebook currently sees 1.23 billion active users monthly.
Iribe said this platform, or MMO, as he calls it, won't just be a game; while he says Oculus is "very committed to gaming," he also said the company has its eyes on a broader audience than a dedicated gaming device can reach.
"Do we want to be Game Boy, or do we want to be iPhone or Android? I think Game Boy is an awesome platform, but I think you'll see that handheld gaming device largely disrupted by the mobile market," he continued. "For VR, where we want to go, connecting a billion people, do you want to be building a platform that has a billion users on it, or 10 or 20 or 50 million?"
As Iribe sees it, if Oculus is able to tap into a much larger market--that billion people it aspires to be in the hands of--that will only help game developers, who will in turn have far more people to sell their games to.
He also reaffirmed the company's roots remain in game development, saying, "We're game developers. Most of the people in the company that are in key positions or doing a lot of the R&D or the engineering are all game developers." John Carmack, Oculus' chief technology officer, and Michael Abrash, chief scientist, were specifically mentioned as people who come from the gaming space.
As noted above, Oculus VR was recently acquired for $2 billion by Facebook. Subsequently, ZeniMax claimed Oculus is making use of intellectual property that it owns from the time Carmack still worked for id Software (which ZeniMax owns). Carmack claims none of the code he wrote while working at id is being used by Oculus, while Oculus itself has pledged to fight ZeniMax's "false" claims.
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